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Saturday April 20, 2024

Islamabad, Kabul to kick off trade talks today

"Secretary Commerce Khurrum Agha will undertake a two-day visit to Afghanistan on Monday," says FO

By Azaz Syed
March 24, 2024
Goods carrier trucks cross into Pakistan at the zero point Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. — AFP/File
Goods carrier trucks cross into Pakistan at the zero point Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani official will undertake a two-day official visit to Afghanistan on Monday (today) to discuss matters related to bilateral trade, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zehra Baloch said in a statement on Sunday.

"Secretary Commerce Khurrum Agha will undertake a 2-day visit to Afghanistan on Monday, 25 March 2024 to discuss trade related matters," she wrote on X.

Pakistan remains committed to promoting trade and people-to-people ties with Afghanistan, the spokesperson added.

The development comes amid strained ties between the two countries over the use of Afghan soil by terrorist outfits including the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) to launch attacks inside Pakistan.

Earlier this week, Pakistan carried out an intelligence-based anti-terrorist operation inside Afghanistan after seven Pakistan Army's personnel including two officers were martyred while repulsing an attack by terrorists on a post of security forces in the North Waziristan district.

The Foreign Office issued a detailed statement on the matter, saying that Pakistan, for the past two years, has repeatedly conveyed its serious concerns to the interim Afghan government over the presence of terror outfits including the TTP inside Afghanistan.

It had said that these terrorists pose a grave threat to Pakistan’s security and have consistently used Afghan territory to launch terror attacks inside Pakistani territory.

Last year in October, Pakistan enhanced stringent conditions on Afghan Transit Trade (ATT).

Under the new conditions, 25 per cent of consignments will be selected for scanning and a minimum of 10 per cent for examination by the Risk Management System (RMS).

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had also imposed new conditions of bank guarantees equal to duties and taxes of the consignment to ensure Afghanistan-bound goods reach their final destination, according to The News.